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Stars of CCTV

Hard-Fi Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
Price: 1.46 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Stars of CCTV + Once Upon A Time In The West [Uk Version] + Killer Sounds
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Product details

  • Audio CD (4 July 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Necessary/Atlantic
  • ASIN: B0009OU2M8
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,365 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Cash Machine
2. Middle Eastern Holiday
3. Tied Up Too Tight
4. Gotta Reason
5. Hard To Beat
6. Unnecessary Trouble
7. Move On Now
8. Better Do Better
9. Feltham Is Singing Out
10. Living For The Weekend
11. Stars OF CCTV

Product Description


Road-tested in a car speeding the mean streets of Staines, Stars Of CCTV - the debut album from Middlesex’s Hard-Fi – consciously sets out to update the sense of frustrated tension and suburban dread that powered second-wave ska acts like The Specials and The Beat back at the close of the ‘70s.

Don’t get it twisted, this isn’t ska-punk a la Brit troupers [Spunge] and Capdown: Hard-Fi play this music lean and moody, like The Streets on downers, or Massive Attack plugging in and tuning up. "Cash Machine" sees a swallowed debit card as the jump-off for vocalist Richard Archer to spin a tale of crushing poverty and unwanted pregnancy, spurred along by thrumming dub bass and the sad wheeze of a vibraphone. They do upbeat as well, as club anthem "Hard To Beat" – a heart-fluttering composite of Northern Soul elation and fist-pumping Rockers reggae – joyfully confirms. But it’s the emotional struggle, the ups and downs of life, that keeps Stars Of CCTV engaging throughout: see penultimate track "Living For The Weekend", a hedonistic blast filled with not a little of the passion that fuelled Oasis’ Definitely Maybe, which succeeds chiefly because it’s all too aware of the bad times as well as the good. --Louis Pattison

Product Description

HARD-FI Stars Of CCTV (2005 UK 11-track CD album including the singles Cash Machine Tied Up Too Tight Hard To Beat Living For The Weekend & Better Do Better)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for the car 10 Aug 2005
Format:Audio CD
When I bought this album I had only actually heard 'Hard To Beat', which I thought was an OK song. The album reviews intrigued me, particularly with the Ska and Clash references. Now this is the only current album on my car stereo - it has a great beat and feel that makes it perfect for August summer evenings with the window down. This is a brillant debut and the hybrid Clash / Specials remark is spot on ( with a bit of The Jam thrown in, i.e. Living For The Weekend.)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A throwback.....but who cares? 20 July 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
If anyone buys this purely on the basis of the dancefloor anthem "Hard to Beat" and expects a collection of similar tracks (only one comes close - "Living for the Weekend") the chances are they are going to be disappointed. The track is an absolute gem in it's own right but is in no way solely representative of what is a very tight and exciting debut album.
The CD as a whole isn't totally cohesive, the title track is weak and I'm not convinced over the piano ballad "Move on Now". Probably worth 4.5 stars in my opinion, down to those two "weaker" tracks.
Those two aside though, the rest is absolutely storming. The obvious parallels with the Clash/Specials are spot on, but do you remember either of these bands at their political/vitriolic best? Musically Hard-fi are up there with them. The driving rhythms, dub bass, singalong choruses, even a drop of mellatron ffs!! The vocals are straight from the Strummer/Jones school of London sloganeering. The messages are much more social commentary for the noughties rather than the heavy political sloganeering of the Thatcher era(the Streets comparisons, lyrically, are fair).They are far from a one trick pony though, and although there are certain sounds and themes running through the bulk of the tracks, there is enough diversity to hold your attention.
The singles are initially the tracks that really jump out at you, but after a few plays there are others that are just as strong - Middle Eastern Holiday, Better do Better, Feltham is singing out, Living for the weekend etc.
"Q" dubbed them the next major British band. Time will tell, but I think they'll be there or thereabouts.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By sophie
Format:Audio CD
Having heard 'Cash Machine' on Zane Lowe in the Summer of 2004, I could tell Hard-Fi was destined for great things. Having seen them perform at King's College last month, I can confirm I was totally correct - they blew me away...and were genuinely lovely guys to boot.
'Stars of CCTV' was definitely worth the wait. Much like the band Dum Dums from a good few years back, Hard-Fi sing about the few perks and many perils of growing up in a crap town - however this offering isn't only about the standard money/girl problems.
Here's my brief guide to the tracks:
1. Cash Machine - Fantastic moody bassline to a strong song, with inspired lyrics about an unwanted pregnancy whilst in financial turmoil. Ought to be re-released as well as being given to a DJ (potential for an awesome remix).
2. Middle Eastern Holiday - A bit strange on the first listen, but really grows on you. Now one of my favourites. Moves at pace, again with strong lyrics from frontman Richard Archer; describing some peers taking up arms for the Iraq war whilst others continue their mundane routine of life in the suburbs.
3. Tied Up Too Tight - Catchy hook with singalong 'La la la la la laaaa' bits. Wouldn't necessarily have been a single choice for me as I believe there are lyrically stronger songs on here - but musically this is faily upbeat with a random reference to footwear.
4. Gotta Reason - Sounds like the soundtrack to a gang of chavs off to bash up a rival gang of chavs who've 'been on their turf'. They'd be on a mission, and so is this song. Grab your baseball bat and go along for the ride.
5. Hard To Beat - Alternative anthem of the Summer. An upbeat tale of lust and urban romance amongst the concrete and above the whiff of Burberry aftershave.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An indie-rock classic 1 Aug 2007
Format:Audio CD
This is an incredibly accomplished debut album - a blistering set of songs with not one dud track amongst them. Weaving together a diverse range of influences, Hard-Fi spin tales of everyday life and love, but they somehow manage to turn this ordinary premise into a collection of tracks unlike anything you've heard before. Their influences encompass everything from traditional Britpop-indie to ska, dub, reggae, pop and dance, informing the nous and flexibility that made 'Hard to Beat', arguably the standout track, a club anthem as well as a festival favourite.

Every track crackles with energy - this is the raw sound of disenchanted youth on the edge of greatness, determined to break out of a grey backwater and head for the bright lights of the city. Anyone who's ever been stuck in a dead-end job will identify with frontman and songwriter Richard Archer's vignettes of everyday working-class life; there's the anguish of being broke on 'Cash Machine', the elation of a new crush on 'Hard to Beat', the bitterness of the subsequent break-up on 'Better Do Better', joy at the prospect of two days and nights of freedom on 'Living for the Weekend'. 'Middle Eastern Holiday' is as fierce and vitriolic an anti-war song as you'll hear anywhere, but like the rest of the tracks, it's written from a heart-wrenchingly personal point of view. Along with 'Feltham is Singing Out', it illustrates Hard-Fi's ability to tackle social issues with breathtaking effectiveness, while skilfully avoiding making their songs into political polemics. The title track is a fitting close to the album - a sublime paean to a world in which every move we make is caught on camera, it all hinges on Archer's sneering refrain of 'can't you see the camera loves me', his voice dripping with sarcasm.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Few good tracks
Bought on recommendation and for price 3 it is excellent, overall its not bad with a few strand out tracks.
Published 14 months ago by jester j
4.0 out of 5 stars Love this band
I have loved this band for years, this is just one of their great albums, fairly chilled out with some good tunes to get you in the mood to go out, would totally recommend it.
Published 14 months ago by LEO23
4.0 out of 5 stars great
not wasting the space on my ipod!!! hard fi's unique sound is unmistakeable. Have played many times. Great early album
Published 17 months ago by Colin
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb debut!
If you think of great debut albums then 'Stars Of CCTV' by energetic rockers Hard-Fi comes to mind straight away. Read more
Published 21 months ago by C22man
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
This is album is awesome. You will not be disappointed. Every song is superb!! Go on buy it!! What your ears were designed for!!
Published on 12 Jun 2012 by SLASH
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Music
This is a fantastic album, very funky and feel good Friday album.
Most tracks are good to play at high volume, the lovely Move On Now being the exception! Read more
Published on 11 Jun 2012 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Has stood the test of time
Hard Fi - this was their moment. Key songwriter Richard Archer had fought long and heard to get his songs heard, and thank goodness somebody at Atlantic Records gave the man an... Read more
Published on 22 Dec 2011 by BD
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding album
Stars of CCtv is an amazing album, it is a ground breaking, Life affirming LP stuffed with future anthems and powerful melodies that linger in the mind and beg to be heard again... Read more
Published on 26 Oct 2011 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Top Album, Hard To Beat
This is an album filled with big, hairy stadium anthems cash machine, hard to beat and living for the weekend. Read more
Published on 24 April 2011 by ekb
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb album, shame about the case.
Absolutely great album, not stopped playing it since i got it. The only issue I have was that the case was in poor conditioned considering I bought it as new.
Published on 30 Jun 2010 by Mr. Jeffrey P. Thomson
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